“Let yourselves be led by the Holy Spirit, with freedom, and please, do not cage the Holy Spirit.”
– Pope Francis
We settled into our current office in February of 2020 with a seven-year lease and just enough time to unpack our boxes before everyone was sent home for a year and the world of commercial real estate changed forever. In a hopeful sign for brokers, our building and the surrounding office park have come alive again in the last twelve months. More organizations are hanging a shingle, and the management company is working hard to add little touches here and there to enhance the aesthetic. Most of these changes have been really nice. About a year ago, a crew came in to hang wallpaper on a massive wall next to the three-story staircase. As a third-story tenant, we have had daily front row seats to a process that is still yet to be completed.
While I get the vision, the pattern itself is dizzying. It is a complicated geometric pattern on a wall that is large and anything but straightforward. As soon as the crew applied it the first time, it was obvious even to my children that the pattern didn’t line up. Within weeks, the crew was back tearing it down and prepping the wall for “take two.” As the third attempt got started this week, those of us gathered around the water cooler thought it might be time to give up on the wallpaper and start painting a nice accent wall instead.
As we chuckled about the absurdity of a massive effort for such a small and unnecessary part of the renovation, I couldn’t help but think about the things that I get fixated on in life and leadership. As beautiful as my vision is for something, can I accept the fact that some parts may not line up? After multiple times of failing to make it stick, when is it time to take a step back and invite in some different ideas? Can I open my mind and my heart to discern the difference between what is cosmetic and what is structural? In my relationship with the Lord and with the Church, am I focused on the foundational or am I stuck on a picture I had in my head?
Whether the wallpaper sticks this time or not, my focus while walking up the office steps right now is trying not to be so out of breath. As we approach the birthday of the Church in Pentecost, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to remind us to renew the Church as the Lord wills and not as we desire.
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